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Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher Found Not Guilty of Murdering ISIS Prisoner

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Eddie Gallagher, the former Navy SEAL team leader accused of stabbing a detained Islamic State group fighter to death in Iraq, was found not guilty of murder on Tuesday.

Gallagher was deployed to Mosul and served as a Navy Special Operations chief in 2017 when he allegedly stabbed an Islamic State detainee to death before posing with his dead body.

While a jury did not find Gallagher guilty of murder or attempted murder, he was convicted on one count of “posing for a photo with a human casualty,” according to CNN.

The maximum sentence on that count is four months behind bars, but it’s possible Gallagher will simply be released on time served.

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The jury took roughly a day to deliberate after both the government and defense attorneys made their closing arguments on Monday, Task and Purpose reported.

“Throughout the trial, prosecutors painted Gallagher as a man, proud of his kill, who sent a ‘trophy photo’ of the murdered detainee to friends, while the defense argued that the government and NCIS agents had a ‘target fixation’ on Gallagher that led them to not ask important questions or consider alternatives,” according to Task and Purpose.

The turning point in the trial may have come when Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, who serves as a Navy medic, testified that Gallagher did not kill the Islamic State prisoner.

Scott said Gallagher did stab the prisoner, but claimed the detainee would have survived the stabbing had Scott himself not suffocated him to death, ABC News reported.

“He described it as an act of mercy because he was concerned the boy — a prisoner of the Iraqi forces — would be tortured by the Iraqis,” CNN explained.

“I knew he was going to die anyway,” Scott testified, according to the Washington Examiner.

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“I wanted to save him from waking up to what had happened next,” he added.

Scott admitted he waited until he was granted immunity to divulge this information.

The prosecution wasn’t buying it.

But it appears members of the jury may have believed Scott’s testimony implanted enough reasonable doubt in their minds that they could not convict Gallagher.

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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